We all know how important office ergonomics are and how they can affect your daily productivity. A poorly designed office workstation causes both physical and mental stress. A study by the Norwegian State Institute found that after the common cold, muscular soreness was the second most common cause of absenteeism at work and other studies in the US found that after ergonomic interventions at State Farm Insurance and Blue Cross Shield employee productivity increase by 15% and 4.4% respectively! Arguably the most important part of an ergonomic workstation is the chair.
So when is the last time you sat down to think about your seat? Well don’t worry, to make it as easy as possible we made up a short checklist of the top six questions to ask about your chair. These are all important questions to consider when assessing the comfort level of your office chair. If the answer to any of these questions is something other than a resounding “YES!”, you may want to consider upgrading:
- Does your chair have an adjustable lumbar (low back) support?
- Does your seat pan width and depth provide for good fit and comfort?
- When seated, are your knees at or below the level of your hips?
- Do your feet rest flat on the floor or are they supported by a stable footrest?
- Do your arm armrests provide proper and comfortable arm height?
- Is your chair easily movable?
Lower back pain is a huge problem for regular office workers, with the right lumbar support, seat depth and chair height this can be avoided, reducing your chances of back and leg pain, and helping the blood circulation through your legs. Proper armrests are also crucial for your back, as they will prevent your shoulders from being hunched and making it easier to maintain a good posture. Also keep in mind that if you work at a larger desk and require movement while in your chair, make sure it has sound wheels, as struggling to get around your workstation is time-consuming and uncomfortable. Continuing on the checklist trend, here are four things you need in any new ergonomic task chair. When choosing your new chair, carefully keep in mind:
- Adjustable Seat Height – Appropriate seat height is crucial for blood circulation and comfort.
- Adjustable Back And Lumbar Support – An adjustable seat back ensures that the user receives lumbar support where he or she needs it most.
- Adjustable Seat Depth – An adjustable seat depth allows users to move the seat forward or back, creating a comfortable place to sit.
- Adjustable Arms – Arms that adjust in width, depth and/or height accommodate users of all shapes and sizes.
Follow the above steps, and you can’t go wrong finding you and your team the chairs that do you deserve. Boost your productivity, comfort and ultimately enjoyment of being at your workstation every day by getting your perfect chair. As our partners over at Haworth like to say, “sit well, feel well, work well.”
If you feel like you learned something from this post and want to keep learning more about workstation ergonomics, check out this other blog post we wrote on ergonomic accessories.